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The future of business strategy education?

Yesterday on, Liquid’s Director of Transformation Marty Neumeier shared his bold perspective on how design thinking can transform the future of business strategy education.

Design Thinking & the Future of Business Education.


With Marty’s passion for the convergence of design thinking and business education lit up by a recent New York Times article, titled “Business School, Disrupted,” Marty took to the Forbes Leadership Forum to share his views. The original Times article presented opposing positions from strategy gurus Michael Porter and Clayton Christensen on how Harvard Business School should handle both the threat and the opportunity of online disruption.

In his trademark clarity, Marty outlines why Michael Porter and Clayton Christensen Are Both Wrong About Finding the Future of Business Education. Instead he proposes a third approach incorporating design.

Given the need to innovate, Harvard Business School—and all educational institutions for that matter, need to reframe the strategic creative brief to ask the bigger questions:
• What does the future of education look like?
• What value will elite schools provide?
• What will happen to professors when learning moves online?
• How will the playing field change when certain professors become superstars?
• What new pricing models should we consider?
• How should a student’s education progress?
• Which courses will be made obsolete by technology?
• Which new courses are likely to emerge?
• Should subjects determine learning, or should learning determine subjects?
• In the future, what will it mean to “go” to school?

By asking questions like these, design thinkers broaden the scope for innovation. They avoid imposing an ideological straitjacket on the innovation process.
With all due respect to Porter and Christensen—two professors that are lighthouse professors in the world of business strategy, their shining contributions lead straight to the need for design, not just in products and services, but in business models, organizational culture, and, yes, strategy.

This illustration Marty created was not used by Forbes, but we are sharing it here.


Traditional decision-making uses two steps, knowing and doing. Design inserts a third step, prototyping, which improves the odds for innovation.

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